The Sudanese government and a major rebel group agreed on Friday, October 18th to a roadmap that will allow suspended peace talks to resume after hitting a deadlock on Wednesday, October 16th when the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said it will not sit down for direct talks with Khartoum until its demands are met, AFP reported.
The SPLM-N, a rebel group in the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, accused Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of occupying new areas and attacking and arresting traders.
The Sudanese parties are expected to touch upon several political, humanitarian, and security issues, according to Mohammed Hassan Alteishi, spokesman for the Sudanese government delegation.
The talks between the new government in Khartoum and rebels who fought forces of ousted President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan states are being mediated by South Sudan.
The talks were launched on Monday by South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, backed by regional leaders including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Spokesman for the SPLM-N, Al-Jack Mahmoud Al-Jack, told Reuters that the government had agreed to the group’s demands to restart talks.
“We suspended the negotiations due to the violations committed by the government,” Al-Jack said. “The government has withdrawn its forces... and it declared cessation of hostilities plus released the detained people.”
In a press conference in Juba, SPLM-N chief negotiator Ammar Amoun said that his group will not return to the negotiating table until the release of all prisoners, the withdrawal of government forces from areas they have taken, and halting all hostilities.
“If the government clears all these demands, we are ready to come back to the table with the commitment we declared during the Juba Declaration,” Amoun said.
Sudan’s new transitional government and rebel leaders initiated talks on Monday, October 14th in Juba, with the aim to end Sudan’s years-long civil wars.
The SPLM-N, led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, had cancelled talks with the government after the paramilitary RSF set up a checkpoint and detained 16 people in South Kordofan Province.
Sudan is being ruled by a transitional government after a coup overthrew long-time President Bashir in April following months of deadly protests.